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Cinnamon could replace strong chemicals in the production of gold nanoparticles
According to a new study, a humble spice found in almost every kitchen could lead to a safer and simpler way to produce gold nanoparticles. Researchers claim that the particles infused in cinnamon can even be used to fight cancer.
Gold nanoparticles are known for their potential to detect tumors, search for oil, light up streets, and cure disease, but their production requires the use of dangerous toxic chemicals. There are several ways to produce gold particles, but most of them involve dissolving chloroauric acid in a liquid and adding chemicals to make the gold atoms precipitate. Some common mixtures include sodium citrates, sodium borohydride (also used to bleach wood pulp), and ammonium compounds, all of which are toxic to man and the environment.
Hoping to promote eco-friendly nanotechnology, researchers at the University of Missouri mixed the gold salts with cinnamon in place of the products mentioned above and poured the mixture into water. The combination produced gold nanoparticles and phytochemicals, an active chemical from cinnamon. Combined with nanoparticles, phytochemicals can enter cancer cells and destroy or help visualize them, providing more precise medical procedures.
The process does not use electricity or chemicals, except for the initial gold salts. The researchers published their work in the journal Pharmaceutical Research.